Here is January finally. I am doing it separate from February or I'll never do it, and I want to do it, so I am. Not sure anyone still cares, since I all but abandoned my blog for like half a year. No matter- I am forging on and hopefully there is still a smidgen of interest out there.
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (2012) PG-13 drama/fantasy. I had been waiting to see this movie for a long time and was expecting to be blown away- perhaps this was it's downfall. I am not saying that I didn't like it, but I was definitely disappointed. I could see what it wanted to do and what it almost did, but in the end it just didn't quite make it on all accounts. Everything was just slightly a miss. The only thing that didn't disappoint me was the little girl. I thought she was great. I am just going to call her the little girl too cause I'm a little too lazy to look up how to spell her first name. Anyway, it's the story of a little girl and her father who live on the other side of the levy in New Orleans called "The Bathtub". It is basically all houseboats and wet shanties, etc., because of the water line. The father is sick and you can tell he is dying and the mom is just gone. It showed a little niche of life that is someone else's reality and that is always something I am interested in, but there was a fantasy sort of element to it that DIDN'T work for me whatsoever. It had one or two really impactful scenes to me though. All in all, I wished I'd have liked it better. Emily thinks you should see it if you have been wanting to- a lot of people really love it so maybe you will too. I'm glad I saw it.
CLEANFLIX (2009) NR documentary. I heard about this on Filmspotting SVU and since it was a documentary set in Utah based on that weird boom of businesses around here "cleaning up movies", I had to check it out. I remember watching that whole phenomenon unfold, starting with Titanic when movie shops started cutting out the Kate Winslet nude scene to make it family friendly and then they figured they might as well clean up other movies as well and BOOM! You have yourself a successful Utah Valley business. It really made me think a lot about the whole concept of movies, right and wrong, movie ratings, art, etc. It sucessfully did what I love in a movie: made me evaluate a bunch of stuff in my head and cause me to think a lot after it's done. PLUS the main guy in the movie was a guy I actually knew fairly well in high school and that was a surprise. I don't think I paid much attention while it was happening (or if I did, I totally forgot). Emily recommends this one. It was pretty entertaining and interesting and thought provoking. Those are three good things.
QUEEN OF VERSAILLES (2012) PG documentary. Another very entertaining documentary. Man I love documentaries! This movie was great! There is something so horrifying about seeing the lives of the utterly classless and tasteless rich. It was a documentary someone decided to make, documenting this couple in Florida building the biggest house in America (single residence). He is a time share mogul and she was an ex beauty queen. Neither of them have an ounce of taste. None. I am talking he has a tacky gold THRONE he sits in, they have paintings on their wall they had commissioned of them dressed as gods and kings and queens, they have her old dogs that have died stuffed in the hallway, I am talking a freak show of horrid taste. The house they were building was being modeled after the Palace of Versailles. Yep. The thing is, mid way through building and (mid way through the documentary), the real estate market collapsed and they lost all their money. So the doc takes a turn and they allowed them to continue filming. It's quite the story. Emily totally recommends this little number. Good stuff. It's streaming on Netflix right now. Do it.
YOUR SISTER'S SISTER (2011) R comedy/drama. This movie gets a giant MEH. I didn't dislike it, I wasn't crazy about it, it is just meh. I don't like it when independent movies have a really heavy independent movie vibe and this one screams it. The story is of a guy that has a girl for a best friend and he goes to her family's cabin at her urging to get over his brother's death by being alone. Little did she or he know that her sister was there. It goes on from there. It isn't awful, it isn't wonderful, it's meh.
RUBY SPARKS (2012) R comedy/romance. This one faired better then the above movie. This one had Paul Dano whom I really like. The trailer will explain the concept of the movie very nicely. But here is what it really is: The whole manic pixie dream girl thing imploded on itself in one movie. Is that good or bad? You decide I suppose, but I liked it alright. Was the implosion ironic? I am not sure, but I lean towards not. Emily can recommend this movie. It is good for a light, in the mood for a fairly well done romantic comedy kind of night. Fun enough.
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED (2012) R comedy/romance. This movie completes my independent, romantic comedy trilogy I didn't plan. It ended up the winner. I really, really liked this one. Maybe I was just in a good mood that night and in the perfect mood for it- but I really enjoyed this movie. It was based on an ad placed in a magazine (as a joke by the editor) that read: "Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O.
Box 91 Ocean View, WA 99393. You'll get paid after we get back. Must
bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this
once before. The movie is about a 3 person team of journalists that read this ad and decided to find the guy that placed it and do an undercover story on him. It was really fun and I loved the ending. Good times. Recommend. I had to get it from Redbox, but I've now noticed it streaming on Netflix.
OSLO, AUGUST 31ST (2011) NR drama. This movie got a lot of buzz for a while, so when I saw it streaming, I checked it out. It was really good and depressing. I am ashamed to say that I don't remember the details all that well. I don't even remember if it was subtitled or not, but I am almost sure it was. It is one day in the life of a guy that is living his first day in almost a year out of rehab. Guess what day and guess where? Anyway, it was a sad little reality and a bleak look at what it's like after rehab. Emily recommends this movie even though it's details are sketchy- I remember it being good. Cut me some slack, it's late, I'm sick and have taken Sudafed.
GIRL WALK // ALL DAY (2011) NR hmmm...dancy dance? THIS MOVIE. This movie is perhaps my favorite movie I have seen in years. I'm serious. It is far and away the most rewatchable movie I've seen since in recent memory since I've rewatched it I don't know how many times. It is the story of a girl that dances through New York City, there is a love triangle and there is also zero dialogue. (That isn't true, three lines are subtitled in, but they are incidental to the plot.) You may not think that such a movie could be so joyful or fun, but I assure you it is. It brings me so much joy. If you are having a bad day, you watch this for 15 minutes and you will turn that mood around. Give this a shot! Especially if you like to watch dancing and like joy and you have to like hip hop and a little hard core rap. The rap isn't radio friendly if you know what I mean. Best of all, this movie is available free to anyone who has internet access. Instead of linking the title to IMDB like usual, I linked it to the website where you can watch it. At least give it 15 minutes. I bet you have a hard time turning it off. (I even bought it on DVD, and I am willing to loan it out if you'd like.)
Wow- that was my first time watching the trailer- it made me smile.
BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING (2012) NR documentary. I watched this movie as part of PBS's Independent Lens thing. It focuses on an artist named Wayne White. He is interesting and unique and was the creative force behind most of Pee Wee's Playhouse. That's about all to say really except his art is cool and that I enjoyed it, but wasn't blown away.
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN (2012) PG-13 documentary. THIS one totally blew me away. This is a truly, awesome story. It is about a singer/songwriter from the 60's named Rodriguez. He signed with a record label and made an album and...it totally bombed. A bootleg copy entered South Africa during Apartheid and long story short- Rodriguez is like South Africa's Elvis. And he never knew. I am going to remain sketchy and that's all you get of the story. It's just too good to watch for yourself. And it gets a huge congratulations from me for winning the best documentary Oscar. Totally deserved. Emily recommends this movie to everybody but especially to Matt who I ordered to see this and I am pretty sure he has not yet *stink eye*. I watched it thinking it was a story he would really, really appreciate and coincidentally, it raised many of the same questions he was pondering about art over Christmas and I thought that was neat (as long as you include music in your definition of art). I haven't seen the trailer yet for it, and if I feel it gives too much away, then that is why you don't see it listed. In that case, just go watch it, you'll thank me I think.
February is coming soon...I SWEAR!